Grand Designs


A Winter Park professional gets to know the artist–grandfather he never met by collecting the man’s illustrations.

 



Chris Raleigh
Chris Raleigh has a collection of his grandfather’s works at home 

Chris Raleigh never met his paternal grandfather, but he has spent the last 20 years getting to know him as a legendary illustrator for such magazines as the The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

Henry Patrick Raleigh, born in 1880, was known for his illustrations of serialized stories and spent much of his life in New York City high society. Having started his career in San Francisco, illustrating fires, hangings and other dramatic events for The Examiner newspaper, he moved on to magazines and books.  His profile grew considerably in 1916 when he illustrated a series of stories for H.G. Wells.

“He was one of the top illustrators in The Saturday Evening Post, which was the top market for illustrators of that time,” says Walt Reed, founder of Illustration House gallery in New York City and author of Great American Illustrators.  “He had a distinct style based on his news work.”

 Like his paternal grandfather, Chris Raleigh has put his own creative stamp on his life’s work. A Winter Park-based interior designer, Raleigh has worked on such notable projects as the Pleasure Island Jazz Company, Lombardi’s Landing and, perhaps best known of all his efforts, the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, with its 340-foot-long Stratocaster guitar.

Raleigh, 62, began seriously researching his grandfather’s work in the late 1980s. In 1989, right before he was to marry, Illustration House in New York offered to sell him roughly a dozen of Henry Raleigh’s works. Facing impending wedding costs, he regretfully declined.

However, his secretary sent out notes to every wedding guest telling them of the collection. On their wedding day, Raleigh and his wife were surprised with a collection of Henry Raleigh’s work.  After that, the grandson was hooked.

“I started looking everywhere for Henry Raleighs,” Raleigh says. “It also made me reconnect with all the family members I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

He currently has more than 100 illustrations and the magazine stories connected to about 75 percent of those illustrations. Still, all of that is a drop in the bucket considering Henry Raleigh had 20,000 published works to his name by age 50. 

All this inspired Chris Raleigh to write a book. He says it will be heavy with his grandfather’s art, and it also will incorporate the life of the man he so admires but knows only by reputation. 

“Hearing about my grandfather, it gave me a very strong work ethic. He was a perfectionist,” Raleigh says. “During the Depression he accumulated vast amounts of money and fame—a rare combination for an artist.”

Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:

 

Guides & Resources

Fall Getaways

Fall is finally on its way and now is the perfect time to plan your getaway. Check out some of these great deals and special destinations just a short drive from Orlando.

Real Estate's Hot 100

Whether you’re trying to buy or sell real estate, getting the best deal means finding an agent who possesses savvy and know-how and gets results. This list showcases some Central Florida agents who have demonstrated those skills.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgeons 2014

This special advertising section highlights the accomplishments of plastic surgeons, who tell about their commitment to helping people look their best.

Orlando's Best Lawyers of 2014

Get informed with our annual list of more than 400 Orlando-area attorneys, compiled by Best Lawyers in America. The annual selection features lawyers in 78 areas of practice.

Spotlight on Lawyers 2014

Our special advertising section featuring profiles on local lawyers.

Premier Doctors

This special advertising section highlights the professionalism, backgrounds and achievements of dozens of doctors.

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Handmade Home: Rustic Fall Finds

These seasonal homespun items will get you ready to cozy up for fall.

Raise a Glass

Wine is no longer just for sommeliers at fancy restaurants or trips to Europe and Napa.

Art Flashback

A bit of whimsy and a whole lot of pop can be found at Boom-Art Gallery on Ivanhoe Row.

Pickling recipes from Chef Chris Brown, executive chef at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes hotel.